Called to be holy
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CALLED TO BE HOLY. 1 Peter 1:15-16 Troy Self, Associate Pastor. AN OUTLINE. I. A WARNING, V. 14 II. AN EXHORTATION, V. 15 III. A CONFIRMATION, V. 16 I. Warning, in two parts: A. A gainst indulgence B. About i gnorance. 1 Peter 1:14.

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Called to be holy


1 Peter 1:15-16

Troy Self, Associate Pastor

An outline


  • I. A WARNING, V. 14



  • I. Warning, in two parts:

  • A. Against indulgence

  • B. About ignorance

1 peter 1 14

1 Peter 1:14

  • As obedient children… We are called children, not by birth but by adoption.

  • Obedient: Strong: attentive hearkening, that is, (by implication) compliance or submission

  • Obedience brings blessings…disobedience causes conflicts.

1 peter 1 141

1 Peter 1:14



  • True holiness has a negative aspect. It is experienced when believers are not being conformed to the former lusts.

  • Fashioning yourselves means “to be shaped by” or “conformed”

  • Kistemaker: the world has its own lifestyle to which believers often are drawn, but Peter warns them not to conform to the evil desires that are prominent in the world.

1 peter 1 142

1 Peter 1:14


  • the former lusts in your ignorance

  • For believers, such former lusts …were theirs in ignorance, before they were saved and when they did not know any better:

  • Philips: How dare we be ignorant of the means of grace available to us.

1 peter 1 143

1 Peter 1:14

  • Philips [cont.] The NT has much to say about the new life we have in Christ, the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, the principle of an exchanged life, the unique position that is ours in Christ, the cleansing power of His blood, and His high priestly work on our behalf. We must come to grips with our ‘former lusts’ by availing ourselves of these provisions!

1 peter 1 144

1 Peter 1:14

  • Obedience to God indicates negatively that his children will not go on living as they used to do, molded by whatever their sinful desires suggest.

Ii an exhortation


  • It is unfortunate that holiness is a subject that makes a lot of believers very nervous.

  • Woodside Baptist Church puts a great emphasis upon the practicalities of a life of holiness.

  • In the eyes of the unsaved, a believer who says nothing and does nothing is fine, but a believer who tries to apply and promote his faith is to be rejected and ridiculed.

  • The whole subject of holiness is one fraught with difficulty, for people both inside and outside the church.

Holiness d efined


  • The original meaning of the ancient biblical word translated holy is ‘to be separate…separated’ and accordingly ‘to be different’ and ‘to be distinct’.

  • God has chosen this word holy to describe himself. He quite definitely states that holy is his name.

  • When God attributes the name holy to himself, he is drawing attention to the fact that he is separate, different, distinct, transcendent; he is ‘totally other’.

Holiness d efined1


  • Now, positively, obedience to God necessitates becoming holy like him.

  • The world holy came to express the essential character of God himself, summed up in such terms as purity, truth, sincerity, righteousness and opposition to evil.

Holiness d efined2


  • Peter quotes from Leviticus 11:44 [also cited in Lev. 19:2], a command that God directed to the people of Israel as they journeyed to the Promised Land. It referred to their character as God’s people in keeping his commands.

  • Holy, therefore, includes the sense of belonging to God, a people marked off and separate from the world by their way of life.

Holiness d efined3


  • Let us remember that holiness affects not only our personal relationship to God, but all our relationships.

  • It affects all you do [manner of conversation = your conduct], and Peter is greatly interested in this theme [2:12; 3:1, 2, 16].

Holiness d efined4


  • Examples:

  • Isaiah [Isaiah 6:3].

  • Joshua speaking to Israel [Joshua 24:15-19].

  • You haven’t grasped his otherness, his transcendence, his distinctiveness. You haven’t begun to understand that to serve the Lord means to recognize that he is so totally different than all you are and all you have, and all you do is going to be totally different.

Holiness d efined5


  • It doesn’t just mean to be different or ‘other’, but it means to be different or distinct, separate, as God is different and distinct.

  • As we see this idea in Scripture developing throughout the OT, we see days and things are called holy…soon we see that people are set apart and are called a holy people.

  • Peter echoes this statement further in his epistle—that Christians are a holy nation [people].

Holiness d efined6


  • If holy people are to be clearly distinguishable, they must exhibit distinctive lifestyles based on different ethical considerations derived from the Holy One.

  • Now in the NT, we discover that the emphasis switched from outward ceremony to inward consecration—a change of heart, not merely a change of clothes!

  • NT holiness in the heart produces a holy people who desire what the Holy One desires and who act upon what the Holy One wants and wills.

Holiness d esired


  • In many hearts, there is no great desire to be holy.

  • A. We are motivated by the character of God!

  • Both the old and new testaments speak about his holiness more than any other attribute of God. The descriptive adjective holy describes the state and action of God’s being.

  • God is sinless, cannot be influenced by sin, and in his holiness destroys sin.

  • The quality, attribute of God that drew us to him is holiness, and so how can we be against it in our own lives?

Holiness d esired1


  • B. We are motivated by the call of God!

  • He called us to a relationship with him. He called us to himself. Romans 8:29-30

  • That’s God’s ultimate purpose, to make me like his Son Jesus Christ, and that means he is conforming me to be holy, separate, distinct from the people, culture, ethics and conduct of this rotten old world.

Holiness d esired2


  • C. We are motivated by the command of God!

  • I can be holy while doing nothing…I cannot however, be nothing and be holy!

  • Yet the Bible calls us saints; that is, we are made holy through Jesus Christ.

  • As saints we receive God’s call to holy living.

  • Peter expects the believers to be imitators of God in respect to holiness.

Iii a c onfirmation from the ot

III. A Confirmation [from the OT]

  • D. We are motivated by the consistency of God.

  • Peter opens the Scriptures and appeals to the highest authority.

  • He offers confirmation of his teaching with words spoken by God himself.

  • Peter takes the written word from Leviticus 11:44-45.

  • He appeals to Leviticus, for it features the themeholiness.

Iii a c onfirmation

III. A Confirmation

  • In fact, the adjective holy appears more often in Leviticus than in any other book of the Bible.

  • Peter is pointing out that throughout the OT God has revealed himself as holy, making holy demands upon his people.

  • He has shown them the rewards of holiness, and he has also shown them the consequences if they refuse to be holy. He has always been, presently is, and always shall be, HOLY.



  • Peter is concerned that the way in which Christians live should testify to their faith in God, show the character of God and give credibility to the gospel; the behavior of Christians should be an incentive for other people to believe!

  • God calls his people out of a world of sin to a life of holiness; and he expects that whatever we do, say, or think is holy.



  • The daily confession of the Christian ought to be:

  • ‘So shall no part of day or night from sacredness be free.’—Horatius Bonar

  • Peter expects the believers to be imitators of God in respect to holiness.

So what


  • Have you been called by God to salvation?

  • Do you realize we evidence repentance and conversion by a desire to be holy?

  • Do you crave God through Christ? His fellowship and love? His relationship?

  • Do you recognize areas of your life that are not consistent with holiness?

  • Are you willing to separate yourself from those former lusts and walk as an obedient child of God?

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